Saturday, March 27, 2010

Back to the future

Its not quite the nineteen seventies, for one I'm not a self centered, rude, inarticulate yoof, disrespectful of most institutions with a passion for loud music, no I'm more mature and rounded and er grumpy maybe a bit deaf, the rest still applies.

Not everything was brilliant back in 70's, but peoples jobs were protected more than today, the media was dominated by right wing lackeys, the BBC was innately conservative, and society had yet to be written off by right wing nutters and tax dodging Tory backers.

Today is reminiscent of 1970's, in as much as we have a failing economy, an indecisive electorate and craven politicians, who'd come out with any bollix, just to get into office.

The country is divided as never before, on one side, we have a bloated public sector, who believe in a god given right to annual pay increases, sick pay, subsidised pensions on the other, the commercial sector however are paying with lost jobs, pay cuts taking the brunt of the after effects of the banking industries crisis, caused by negligent and parasitic & immoral management.

Its now the norm, to view, employees as nothing more than commodities, so is it any wonder, that given the management style of British Airways that staff there have been forced to withdraw their services, now I know that those of us old enough will be looking at Tony Woodley (Unite Boss) and thinking 70's trade union dinosaur, but before you condemn consider British Airways history and earlier errors in management, in 2008 paying millions in compensation for price fixing, in the 1990's, BA lawyers had to unreservedly apologise for a dirty tricks campaign against Virgin Atlantic, in 1985 Freddie Laker accepted a multi million settlement from BA after being put out of business by competitors (I don't think BA ever considered the flying public when trying to put competitors out of business).

The point is as I mentioned recently Unite are acting in a business context, in which staff have no wish to brushed aside like some commodity, if you think BA management are considerate angels and just worried about the traveling public, you might wish to think again.

Just a point on media coverage, it was interesting how the BBC in early reports that I saw found it easy to locate a victim, that is an inconvenienced member of the public whose travel arrangements were cocked up but didn't or couldn't interview aircrew who presumably will have their work life screwed up. Good luck to BA staff and management.

Hopefully the outcome of this strike is that employers have some respect for employees. This strike will damage both parties so lets hope that those involve can resolve the issues sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Erratic service

Just a quick note, or comment on my lack of blogging, its simple I don’t have the time.

Things you're missing are comments, I would like to make about the artificial world of Labour politicians, like Nottingham who recently I believe appeared upset that he could not pick a wifi signal at St Pancras, perhaps as he sipped beverages at the Champagne bar (the longest in the world assuming there happens to be another) I was going to contrast it with the state of the Rail industry and might still do so, if I get time, not that any self respecting Labour politician could give a flying er ………..

Also I see our Sandy, soon to be former local Tory Leader has been usurped by Cllr Bayford (Who he?) and more importantly has my favourite Tory Blogger no not Biggles but Simon Moores, been able to jockey for position in the cabinet? will Roger Latchforfd now be able to quietly retire, so many questions.

The budget I have not had chance to see the news but care little, since as ever, the masses like me will be screwed once again and really its only degree and method that changes (YAWN)

Any way I shall resume as soom as poss, which could be tomorrow or next month, fortunately Thanet Bloggers offer a diverse range of views although to be honest they all seem fairly right wing, from that photography bloke, media mogul, through to the bookshop guy.

Fortunately I do have some leisure time and found a very pleasant pub on a recent visit to Folkestone, The Pullman the service friendly and although we (Me & Mrs Me) kept it simple ordering omelettes these were superb best I’ve ever had.

This has been typed in a hurry so I'll tidy it up when I get a chance.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Labours free laptops

This will not be one of my more finely tuned highly researched post's as I am bloging on the way home and is based on little more than hearsay and may or not reflect the wasteful attemps of Labour to fight, claw, bribe, etc its way to a fresh term.

As with many initiatives there are different viewpoints and this one comes from an astonished co-worker.

Many will have seen the Governments offer of free laptops for families on benefits with school aged children to help with their education, perhaps not as familiar are parents who are having a bit of a windfall as a result, according to my source, non-working parents are receiving a pre-loaded credit card value £500 plus, to purchase a laptop, which can then be traded into money for drink and drugs or maybe a night at the opera.

Its difficult to guess what some kids might learn from this but hopefully most will benefit, one other consequence might well be the peer pressure put on hard working families coping with smaller wages and more tax to keep up with the Jones 's and spend £500 on a laptop for their own kids, just like that nice Mr Brown.

Still this scheme offers the chance for children to learn through the wonders of the internet and hopefully will be much appreciated

Sent from my mobile device

Monday, March 15, 2010

Bob Geldof upset with BBC, what can you say

whoupsetgeldof Well for me its difficult to be objective about Bob Geldof particularly since one of his companies wrote to me about my opinions over KCC’s Kent TV, in rather er robust terms.

Anyway Guardian readers will be aware that last week he went off on one, re the BBC world service, now since he seemed to be threatening legal action, I’ll keep my opinions to myself.

Still Rod Liddle a favourite of mine in the Sunday Times has considered the matter and written on the subject, I particularly enjoyed this “He has been bombarding The Guardian’s online site — the traditional refuge of embittered loons — with scabrous attacks upon the BBC. It seems as if the silicon chip inside his head got switched to overload. Oh lordy, I can feel a song coming on.”

Anyway read the whole article here “Hardly a charitable response from Bob the bludgeoner”

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Blatant discrimination of British workers as non Polish speakers need not apply

According to the Sunday Times Forza AW Ltd a supplier of meat to supermarkets have placed adverts for new workers requiring that they speak Polish, this was later explained as a “breakdown in communications” by Max Hilliard mentioning the company had experienced a fire resulting in an urgent need to find 400 new staff.

One can understand that in the circumstances of a company losing 40% of its production facilities, short cuts are necessary, but since adverts were placed by an East Anglian employment agency OSR, you would like to think they would be aware of the 1976 Race Relation Act, which states that a genuine need, has to exist for requiring specific languages.

Despite this being a “mistake”, one applicant who phoned OSR was told “ have to be fluent because all the health and safety training is all done in Polish rather compounding the mistake.

I’m convinced that large swathes of industry actively discriminate against British workers, its seems rather strange, does it not, that however, this misunderstanding occurred, that before adverts were placed someone didn’t say, we don’t discourage British workers do we? or even more surprising that once the adverts had gone out nobody twigged and then presumably went on to discriminate against English speakers.

I always have to issue a sort of disclaimer when broaching the touchy subject of migration of labour across Europe, and basically its this I have no animosity toward migrants, but object to employers and indeed our own government using them as cheap labour easily exploited at the expense of this countries own nationals who over the years have created and paid for our cherished health education and welfare.

Finally is it any wonder that so many are deserting Labour and mainstream political parties, working people who were born or have lived in this country most of their lives are sick and tired, of unfettered migration and sick of the smug professional classes who ignore the issue since they have yet to lose their own job or had their earnings slashed. I hope those involved.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Good luck to BA staff, its only business

I don’t know the in and outs of BA cabin crew’s dispute with the management of the company and neither do I care. The only fact we the general public need to accept is that the staff union, have held a ballot of members, who have, one presumes after due consideration of the facts, concluded, that industrial action is necessary, having no doubt weighed up the risk of putting the company out business etc. thus making negotiations pointless.

To simple minded adherents to the free market, like your average Conservative lackey, the press and some bloggers see Simon Moores appear to suggest the proposed strike is some sort of malign political attack rather than workers trying to negotiate.

Keeping it simple for such “thinkers”, employees of BA are taking action to protect either their jobs or conditions of employment, to summarise a group of people who have joined a union to negotiate efficiently and effectively, a perfect example of a free market negotiation something Conservative politicians ought to praise.

Right wing politicians would not get too excited and don’t if fuel companies, put the squeeze on airlines through increased fuel prices so lets just let Unite and BA conclude their business.

Tagged along with this dispute is the suggestion that unions are now running the Labour party, if this is the case why do we still have the likes of Mandelson, bending over to look after the interest of big business or indeed Labour MP’s who along with their Tory counterparts have been too busy looking after their own business of lining pockets with taxpayer funded expenses to worry about ordinary people.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Hollow Labour, influential journo explains why he deserted

John Kampfner, former editor of the New Statesman, Chief Exec for Index on Censorship, sometime BBC reporter and Chair of the Turner Contemporary Trust has written a tract on a hollow and bankrupt (my view) political party which is all about self interest for activists at any cost and screw social justice and the likes of me and you.

I got sent this email (see below) announcing publication of the pamphlet Lost Labours, a couple of days ago, sent to me as one of the benefits of belonging to the Liberal Democrats, I thought it might appeal to my fair minded readers perhaps even the delusional Labour readers.

Just a quick note the opinions I express in this blog are my own although I see one local blogger refers to this blog as Liberal Democrat News Margate, it just happens that I believe in fairness, something Labour activists have side stepped in adopting a pragmatic approach to keeping big business happy and themselves in office and thus resulted in an ever widening social divide.

For the record I’ve voted Liberal Democrat, Labour and Conservative in my time, even during the life of this blog which is currently in its fourth year so to Ramsgate’s greatest Labour blogger this is not a party political blog I happen to be a member of the LibDems its just a facet of my life in the same way as working in rail industry or subscribing to sky TV.

Labour politicians, the professional ones who earn their living fleecing the taxpayer have forgotten how or why they got involved in politics, surely they didn’t just see esteemed Labour Leader Tony Blair as a role model and think crikey what a shyster, I’m up for some of that.

Anyhow John Kampfner’s email and excuse the minor rant!

Dear Anthony,

Today I launched my pamphlet, Lost labours, with Nick Clegg.

As somebody who has a long involvement with the Labour party, including editing the New Statesman magazine, I have been able to give a frank and honest appraisal of a decade and a half of New Labour. And in it I explain why I can no longer support them, and am instead turning to the Liberal Democrats. You can read a more condensed version in an article I wrote for the Guardian here.

Alongside one million other voters, I deserted Labour in 2005 in protest at Iraq in favour of the Liberal Democrats, the only party to oppose the war. My decision to back the Lib Dems in 2010 is based in a more fundamental appraisal of Labour’s record together with a positive assessment of the Liberal Democrats’ platform.

New Labour in office has had one all-consuming purpose: re-election. Since 1997, their every working day was based around the task of prolonging their term of office. It filled in the ideological hollow and justified ever-encroaching authoritarianism and a pandering to the right on criminal justice and other areas of social policy. In contrast, the Liberal Democrat analysis of the failures of the deregulated market has been consistently, and painfully, accurate. Nick Clegg’s tax reform plans, taking four million low paid workers out of tax altogether, are the most redistributive of any party. And the Liberal Democrat approach to criminal justice, human rights, foreign and social policy is close to mine.

People can only for so long be exhorted to hold their nose, to vote for a party they feel has let them down, simply because the alternative is worse. It is deeply damaging to politics to resort perpetually to the double negative. The Liberal Democrats offer a positive, radical and different vision. That is why they have my support.

Best wishes,

John Kampfner

PS Do forward this email to any Labour-leaning friends you may have; as Nick Clegg argued last year, now is the time for Labour’s lost army of progressives to join us in common cause.

Click here to visit the Liberal Democrats' website

Saturday, March 06, 2010

David Cameron spouts on Fat Cats maybe he should checkout Tory Kent’s Gilroy Payments

There is little more embarrassing than a party leader taking the moral high ground with worthy tosh about “value for money” and “tightening belts” when his own party are possibly the worst offenders.

As I waited for my Chinese I chanced upon this article in the Sun, apparently David Cameron has pledged to “out” town hall fat cats “I’ll shame £60K council fat cats” and I couldn’t help but think what a load of Bull , does this bloke ever ask around before spouting.

I’m not going into detail but Peter Gilroy KCC’s retiring Chief Exec has been trousering around £200,000 plus (even I understand selling back his holidays), in addition he will be bagging an additional £200,000 bonus for doing his job and working up to retirement age.

Clearly council staff are not stupid and KCC have made similar Gilroy type payments to senior officers, for just doing the job their paid to do, last year creating another embarrassment when it was revealed that top bods had been getting bonus payments for god knows what, since I don’t think we were told.

Paul Carter leader of Kent’s ruling group seems out of step with thinking at the top of the Tory party, isn’t it time he just stepped down and stopped giving away our money and wasting it on rubbish projects like Kent TV & Health watch.

If Cameron does win the election it will be interesting to see if he does sort out fat cats, my feeling is it will be business as usual

Thursday, March 04, 2010

No apology for Tory Boy Simon Moore suggest you try Thanet Times

Simon Moores Thanet’s rising Tory talent, in a world of the mediocre, was at a loss to understand my last posting, as much as I was with his comment of mystification. “Tony
You have lost this 'Tory Boy' completely!”

Thanet Times reported “Internet delay on council debates” referring to Thanet council’s apparently aborted webcasts, as I mentioned at the top of my last post “I’ve no time or inclination to construct my usual verbose postings”

Moores usual omnipotent style assumed that naturally I would have read either his or Michael Child’s weblog, “The meeting was broadcast and you can find the link on my weblog, Michael Child's and even TDC's website.”

Irresistible as Thanet Life and er Thanetonline are, I have to say that when I take out my 12hour shift, plus commute even I have to turn down the wonderful, light, engaging, entertaining way these blogs inform us of occurrences in the metropolis of Thanet.

Note to Simon suggest you contact Rebecca Smith editor of the Thanet Times for a correction of their apparently sloppy and inaccurate report. I like to think I have standards as good as professional hacks like yourself and KRN news wallahs, I should have checked my facts and not relied on professionals.

more tosh

I shall set aside some time at the weekend to review TDC’s webcast in the mean time here is the link for anyone else who is out of the loop, like me and has bigger fish to fry and or is still in employment despite the best efforts crooked bankers, politicians, and corporations.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Points of interest from Thanet Times

Being preoccupied at this moment, I’ve no time or inclination to construct my usual verbose postings, I’ll pose a couple of points which perhaps someone could expand on.

Firstly on page 7 of this weeks Thanet Times, Tory boy, Cllr Simon Moores who apparently speaks on computers for TDC is giving some excuse about dodgy microphones as a reason for the council not being exposed to webcasting, which to my mind is a bit of a relief since I thought, third rate, none to bright, posturing politicians from both Labour and Tory might have been the reason the council chamber will remain a mystery to all but a few members of the public.

Second item that caught my eye was news that the very tasteful “Tivoli Arcade” also featured on page 7 of the TT is subject to a planning application to allow a new shop front, I just wonder if you could improve on the current facade, anyhow thank god, we have a robust and competent planning department, who never cock up, except on things like that development Meridian Village at Ramsgate which I understand has blighted the homes of nearby residents (TDC failing to inform residents of planning changes), still coming back to Marine Terrace I seem to recall some years ago that the former Kent Hotel was rebuilt and facade was retained at the request of local planners but with the addition enhancement of much neon and perspex?